Could you share a significant moment or experience in your career that has shaped your approach to acting?
The most significant experience in my career that has shaped my approach to acting is, I would say, “Neal ‘n’ Nikki.” During the shooting of the film, there was a lot of hype and anticipation. People believed it would be the movie to change my life and career, propelling me to superstardom. We were put on a high pedestal, and when the film eventually released, we received both positive and negative feedback. The film may not have reached the heights expected. This experience made me realize the importance of staying grounded in the industry. One should not be swayed by external opinions or let success or failure change who you are. Regardless of the outcome, if you are passionate about what you do, maintain that passion consistently. This lesson from “Neal ‘n’ Nikki” has been a significant learning in my journey in the industry.In what ways have Kajol and Ajay Devgn been sources of support and guidance for you in your journey as an actress?
Ajay and Kajol have been huge supporters for me in my journey as an actor. Whether I have a question or need advice, Ajay is always there to provide very real, down-to-earth, and clear guidance. They have a clear idea of who they are and what this industry is all about. They are great people who have been super supportive of me in everything I’ve done. If I ever need advice, I know they give me the real talk. It’s never about sparing my feelings, and they don’t exaggerate anything. They’re very real about this industry, and that’s the best advice I’ve always received from them. That’s what I love about them.
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Is there a role or character you’ve played that holds a special place in your heart?
I have two characters that hold a special place in my heart. One of them is Nikki Bakshi from ‘Neel ‘n’ Nikki.’ I love her, and I think she was the most badass chick that I could have ever played. The other character that holds a special place in my heart is from my film “Unnale Unnale.” I loved playing the character of Deepika, and it was a very special film for me. The director, who is no longer with us, was great to work with.
What changes or developments in the Bollywood industry do you find most exciting or impactful?
I am very excited about Bollywood changing the way we talk about our female characters, thanks to OTT platforms opening up multidimensional roles. I hope more big commercial films add layers to their female characters in an interesting way. Bollywood is heading in that direction, with writing playing a crucial role. We need to improve our writing, drawing inspiration from OTT, making it more multi-dimensional and layered.
How do you see the industry evolving, and what role do you think actors like yourself will play in this evolution?
In terms of industry evolution, there’s a disconnect between the films we want to see and what’s being made. I hope this gap reduces, similar to the more audience-centric approach seen in the South industry. While Bollywood is catching up, I wish for a faster alignment with audience preferences.
Are there any areas in the film industry you’re eager to explore, like production or direction?
I definitely want to explore more within the film industry, as it’s in my blood. Whether it’s direction, production, or something connected to films, I feel a strong connection and will explore these avenues.
Outside of acting, what are your hobbies or interests that might surprise your fans?
Beyond acting, I have numerous hobbies and interests. I enjoy diving, crochet, reading, binge-watching Netflix, going out with friends, swimming, gardening, and supporting my NGO which focuses on environmental issues. I am passionate about creating a better environment for future generations.
How do you unwind and recharge away from the spotlight?
My close group of friends, spiritual practices like chanting, my dogs, and family help me unwind and recharge. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so much love.
When can we see you on the silver screen next?
You can catch me on the silver screen when I find films that resonate with me. ‘Love You Shankar’, a children’s film where I make a guest appearance with Shreyas Talpade, is my next release. Additionally, there’s an exciting multilingual Marathi film where I play a historical character, but I can’t reveal too much about it yet.